Water Budget 101

EVMWD customers have been on a budget based rate structure since 2010. Research and customer feedback have indicated that this is a fair and equitable method for charging residential and business customers for their usage. EVMWD has simplified the rate structure to four tiers for the residential use.

The updated residential structure reflects the new standard for individual water use statewide, which is 55 gallons of water, per person, per day. The structure will continue utilizing weather conditions, but will base its formula on a per billing period schedule rather than a monthly for the most accurate account of outdoor water use. Households will receive a water budget for outdoor use based on the irrigated square footage of the property. Above that water budget, inefficient and excessive tiers will cost customers more, because it costs EVMWD more to secure this additional water supply.

Because customers have control over the amount of water they use, these budgeted water rates allow customers to be charged according to the water they use.

How are Water Budgets Determined?

Indoor water budgets are calculated using two factors: 55 gallons of water per person per day and the number of people in the household. Outdoor water budgets are calculated using 3 factors: the right amount of irrigated square footage per parcel; the average daily plant water loss (“evapotranspiration”); and a plant factor of 0.60 that reflects the water needs of plants as guidelines provided by State law. All water used by a residential customer within their assigned indoor and outdoor water budget is billed at the Indoor Use and Outdoor Use rates.


Outdoor Use

Eddie knows he has limited water in the second tier for outdoor water, and he only uses what he absolutely needs to keep his California friendly landscaped yard looking good all year.


Outdoor Use

Eddie knows he has limited water in the second tier for outdoor water, and he only uses what he absolutely needs to keep his California friendly landscaped yard looking good all year.


Inefficient Use

When Eddie has variations in his water use because he has house guests or the kids get a hold of the hose on a hot summer day, he slips into the third tier and pays more for that extra bucket of water.


Excessive Use

If Eddie sees that his water use dips into the excessive bucket, he looks for leaks and more ways to reduce his water use. Eddie can also contact EVMWD for a water audit to investigate why his water use is greater than usual.


Drought Surcharge

With Governor Brown’s declaration of a drought emergency, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) was charged with mandating water restrictions for California. The SWRCB adopted statewide mandates on May 6, 2015 requiring agencies to increase conservation efforts. The mandate requires EVMWD and its customers reduce water use by 28 percent.


In response to California’s historic drought, EVMWD is implementing a temporary drought surcharge. This surcharge is designed to encourage additional water conservation, help offset revenue losses due to the Governor’s Executive Order and increase compliance with state conservation requirements. The surcharge took effect July 31, 2015 and will continue until further notice. Drought surcharges are applied to all tiers at Stages 3a through Stages 5c.

Residential Water Rates Non Drought Rates Stage 4a Surcharge Total Water Rate
Indoor Use $2.25 $0.71 $2.96
Outdoor Use $2.75 $0.86 $3.61
Inefficient Use $4.34 $1.37 $5.71
Excessive Use $6.26 $1.98 $8.24

Drought Penalties

Drought Penalties are imposed on customers who do not stay within their water budget during a Stage 3, 4, or 5 water shortage. Customers are given an indoor and outdoor water budget. Once a customer exceeds their outdoor water budget, they are in the "inefficient" tier and must pay a penalty.

Water Rate Tier Stage 4a Penalty per CCF
Indoor Use No penalty
Outdoor Use No penalty
Inefficient Use $2.09
Excessive Use $2.09